This work package is jointly led by Action Renewables and the Western Development Commission.
There are two key objectives of this WP:
- To identify and promote opportunities for policy to provide an effective supporting framework for sustainable renewable energy business (both new and emerging);
- To promote awareness and understanding of funding support mechanisms available to assist renewable energy businesses, micro enterprise and start-ups in NPA regions
The objectives will be achieved by undertaking four key activities, which are summarised below. Action Renewables are responsible for the delivery of Activities 1 and 2 to identify and promote opportunities for policy development, while the WDC are responsible for the delivery of Activities 3 and 4 to promote awareness and understanding of funding support mechanisms.
Activity 1 is the review of current policy mechanisms, in each partner region, which relate to and promote entrepreneurship in the RE sector. Renewable Energy is a sector which is heavily influenced and reliant on a supporting policy framework. It requires policy stimulation to enact behavioural change, to incentivise the increased use of RE, to promote R&D in new technology adoption and to encourage investment in new disruptive technologies. The policy development, nature of business development and Governmental structures are very different in each partner region. It is therefore likely that there will be a range of policy schemes and initiatives which are very dissimilar. This activity will seek to identify where policy has been effective in supporting new RE business enterprise and where and how, this could be replicated in other partner regions.
Activity 2 is the review of RE business support funding mechanisms. It will identify innovative and effective funding mechanisms to support the development of renewable businesses in the NPA region.
Activity 3 is to promote awareness and understanding of funding options for RE business. It will highlight the types of innovative and effective funding mechanisms currently available in the partner regions, and provide information about these for both funding agencies (e.g. business support agencies and municipalities) and information for SMEs, about business support funding options available in their regions.
Activity 4 is to advocate for policy change and new policy initiatives for each partner region. At a local level, Municipalities and Local Authorities are usually enthusiastic about the socio-economic benefits of indigenous energy production, and the retention of resources and money within the local economy, but are unfamiliar with the best way to achieve this. They may require additional expertise, to provide innovative solutions, in new technology sectors, to identify new business delivery models and to support entrepreneurial growth. This activity will involve extensive consultation to support more effective policy delivery for RE in the NPA partner regions.